First, if you’re coming to Lisbon, welcome! 🙂
This guide has some of our recommendations for the city and surroundings. Feel free to comment or ask us about any extra tips.
Go & Explore
Walk up to Castelo de São Jorge and have a nice and different view over Lisbon at the cool Café Noobai. If your legs are still alive, walk around the most traditional streets in Alfama and visit Museu do Fado, where you can learn about Fado‘s history, our Portuguese music genre.
You should also definitely go to Belém. You can take a train or a tram there. Once you’re there start by having a Pastel de Belém with a café (do not miss this 🙂 ). Then walk around a bit and visit Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Torre de Belém and Padrão dos Descobrimentos. You’ll get a nice view of the Tejo River and of the famous 25 de Abril Bridge that looks like the Golden Gate from San Francisco. You can also visit the new suspension viewpoint at the bridge.
Visit LX Factory either in a calm morning or for a night out. An old factory in a very trendy location with hip stores, restaurants, and bars.
Palácio Nacional de Sintra. From here you should explore the little village in front of the palace. Go to the small traditional café called Piriquita and try a Queijada de Sintra or a Travesseiro (or, preferentially, both!).
Quinta da Regaleira. 2/3 minutes walking from the first stop you will find Quinta da Regaleira. It is a beautiful garden that you should visit it if the weather is nice.
Castelo dos Mouros. Great to visit with nice weather, amazing views if the sky is clear. If you prefer hiking and outdoors, this is the spot to visit in Sintra. You can also go up there by tuc-tuc.
Palácio da Pena. This one you should definitely go. The second most beautiful palace in Europe from the outside (my opinion).
Cabo da Roca. The westernmost point of Europe. Cool to see the sunset from there but you would have to find a bus there as it is 15 minutes away from downtown Sintra.
Go & Taste
Foods you should try
Bacalhau (codfish). The most common dishes are: bacalhau à brás, bacalhau com natas, bacalhau à zé do pipo, bacalhau à minhota… but we have hundreds of different dishes with bacalhau.
Octopus. There’s also a good variety of dishes with octopus. Polvo à lagareiro is a must!
Grilled sardines, or any fresh seasonal fish. Sardines only during summer, but any fresh local fish during all year (robalo, sargo, salmonente, linguado, pregado, …).
Pork. We are known for eating every single part of the pork. Grilled secretos or plumas with a side salad would be a great meal.
Alheira. A typical sausage. We also have Farinheira, Chouriço and Linguiça. Just try all of them! You can order it as appetizers in typical restaurants.
Açorda de marisco or arroz de marisco (seafood with bread or rice).
Cheese. Have you ever heard about French cheese? Just forget it and embrace any Portuguese cheese (from Serpa, Nisa, Serra, Ilha, etc). We have really good with cheeses. C’est une merveille.
Francesinha. More common in Porto, so not all restaurants in Lisbon can cook it well. Restaurant Lucimar is one of the good ones.
Pastel de bacalhau.
Rissol (with meat or fish filling).
We have great cheese from different regions, some of the most typical are: queijo de Seia, queijo de Azeitão, queijo da Ilha.
Caldo verde. Typical kale soup. It usually contains chorizo.
Seafood, in general, is very good (clams, prawns, mussels, …).
Olives, in general, are very good.
Pastel de Belém in Belém, or pastel de nata in any local coffee.
Bola de berlim with cream! Our better version of doughnuts.
Travesseiro de Sintra. Only in Sintra.
Queijada de Sintra. Only in Sintra.
Torta de Azeitão.
Arroz doce. Rice pudding with cinnamon on top.
Pudim caseiro. Homemade flan pudding.
Portuguese wine from any region.
Port wine, especially of the type that is hard to find abroad like white port.
Ginginha shot. A Portuguese liqueur made with ginga berries (sour cherries). Sold all over the city. Goes really good in a chocolate cup.
Sangria in a good place. Good for a warm day. Made with wine, fruits, and ice.
Caipirinha. A Brazilian drink that is very popular.
Gin & tonics are also very popular, but they are served differently (order one and see!).
Fish & Seafood
El Corte Inglês – Gourmet Experience [website] An upscale food court with restaurants from Portuguese and international chefs. There is also a gourmet market. Terrace with great city views.
Breakfast, Brunch & Coffee
Other random tips
Uber works well and is cheap.
Avoid restaurants with pictures on the menu (they are targeted for tourists and usually are not very good price/quality).
A lot of the landmarks are within walking distance, so walking is usually recommended (the architecture is amazing), but there are a lot of hills, so bring comfortable shoes.
The airport is really close to the city center (do not be scared when you land) and it has a subway station.
Hello > Olá
Goodbye > Adeus
Good morning > Bom dia
Good afternoon > Boa tarde
Good evening/night > Boa noite
Please > Por Favor
Thank You > Obrigado (for boys), Obrigada (for girls)
You’re welcome > De nada
I’m sorry > Desculpe
Excuse me > Com licença
Yes > Sim
No > Não